In January 2011, President Barack Obama signed the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, signaling the first major update to our nation’s food safety oversight framework since the Great Depression. Despite widespread support for the legislation and its implementation, the Obama administration still has not issued all of the proposed rules under FSMA.More info
One Step Closer: President Obama Fulfills Key Promise in Effort to Make Our Food Safer
On January 4, 2013, the two-year anniversary of President Obama signing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law, the administration released two major draft proposals under the legislation.
Read Pew's statement on the new FDA draft rules.
Once finalized, the draft rules will establish produce safety standards to minimize contamination of fresh fruits and vegetables and develop prevention-based requirements for processed foods such as cookie dough and peanut butter.
Other provisions in the law still under White House review include a new oversight system that will hold importers responsible for the safety of food they bring into the United States and establish requirements for third-party auditors who may be used to a limited degree for imported food. Another requirement will set safety standards for pet foods.
Once fully implemented, the Act, the first overhaul to America’s food safety system since the Great Depression, will give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more enforcement tools and greater authority to prevent – not just react to – foodborne outbreaks.
While the proposal's are a good step forward, without full implementation, the promise of FSMA will not become a reality, and Americans will continue to get sick from preventable foodborne illnesses.
On Feb. 28 and March 1, FDA held the first in a series of three public meetings on the two major proposed rules under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Pew's Sandra Eskin as well as several victims of foodborne illnesses provided testimony. Additional meetings will be held in Chicago on March 11-12 and in Portland on March 27-28.
What is FSMA?
Major foodborne outbreaks
How was your state affected?
Listen to a victim's story
- Press Release: Pew Thanks President Obama for Fulfilling Promise to Make Our Food Safe
- Opinion: "Prevention Matters More Than Peanuts"
- Opinion: ''Safer Food Is on Its Way"
- Article: "FDA Offers Sweeping Rules to Stop Food Contamination"
- Article: ''After Year-Long Delay, FDA Proposes Major Regulations For Food Safety''
- Article: ''FDA Moves on New Food Safety Rules''
- Article: ''FDA Releases Rules to Strengthen Safety of Food Supply''
- Article: '''New Era' in Food-Safety Rules to be Dished Out''
- Article: ''FDA Begins Implementing Sweeping Food-Safety Law''
- Article: ''FSMA Regulations On Produce, Manufactured Food Finally Released For Public Comment''
"The Food and Drug Administration will not reduce food inspections because of budget cuts, despite warning earlier that it could be forced to eliminate thousands of inspections by Sept. 30."More info
"Twenty-two weeks. That’s how long it took federal health officials to determine the contaminated food source after the first person was infected in a 2011 outbreak of salmonella that swept across 34 states, sickened 136 people and led to one of the largest national recalls of ground turkey."More info
Slow Government Response Likely Contributed to More Illnesses in 2011 Salmonella Outbreak in Ground Turkey, Pew Report Finds
An examination of a Salmonella Heidelberg outbreak linked to ground turkey illustrates that health authorities must be more aggressive in their efforts to detect and respond to foodborne illnesses, according to a new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts, titled “Too Slow: An Analysis of the 2011 Salmonella Ground Turkey Outbreak and Recommendations for Improving Detection and Response.” In all, the contaminated food sickened a reported 136 people in the United States, hospitalized 37 and killed one, according to government data.More info
A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Heidelberg infections linked to ground turkey in 2011 sickened 136 people, causing 37 hospitalizations and one death. The Pew Charitable Trusts' analysis of the outbreak found numerous inadequacies in the foodborne illness surveillance system that, if addressed, could help to prevent illnesses and, in some cases, deaths.More info
"Six years ago, Bend resident Chrissy Christoferson's ten-month-old son suffered a ten-day struggle with what first appeared to be a touch of the flu."More info
"Portlander Joe Day tearfully recalled the year his family spent Thanksgiving in a hospital cafeteria, as his sister, suffering from e coli, fought for her life several floors above."More info
My name is Jennifer Exley, and I reside in Centennial, Colorado. I am the daughter of Herbert Stevens, who was deeply impacted by listeria-contaminated cantaloupe in August 2011. As you well know, 147 people were sickened and 33 people died in that outbreak — the deadliest in 25 years. My father was one of the so-called lucky survivors. His health and quality of life was, and remains, seriously affected because of something he ate.More info
''Several hundred farmers, regulators and consumers from Alaska to North Dakota to California gathered in Portland on Wednesday to listen to federal plans to overhaul the food safety system."More info
The Obama administration has taken an important step by releasing the draft rules central to implementing the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), but it must do more. Important draft regulations focused on the safety of imported foods are still awaiting release. These rules are especially important since about two-thirds of fruits and vegetables and 80 percent of seafood consumed in the United States come from abroad.More info
On Thursday, February 28 and Friday, March 1, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold public hearings in Washington, D.C., on FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) draft rules released earlier this year. The public will also have the opportunity to testify at agency meetings in Chicago and Portland on March 11-12 and March 27-28, respectively.More info